Cattle Talk

Kevin, our ranch foreman, and I sat down at the kitchen table a couple of weeks ago. We talked drought, the sudangrass field and our new calves. The discussion finally got to the topic we've been avoiding for some time... adding heifers to the herd.

Kevin: I know you want me to add heifers. We got 70 rolls of hay to get us through next winter. If we don't make any grass this summer, we'll use all that inventory up (This is Kevin's way of saying that he's not sure about adding to the herd. Kevin has been working at the ranch for about 8 years. He's a good cowboy and ranch foreman.).

Bart: What do you think?

Kevin: Floks 'round here are scared, they've never seen anything as bad as this. 

There is a long awkward pause.

Kevin: I got a bead on some twofers (heifers pregnant with calves). It'll cost us $2,300 a head, but we can sell the calves in six months for $1,300. We would need an additional bull too... We need rain bad...

Bart: Kevin, if you don't think the time's right to add then we're not adding. However, beef prices are at an all time high.

Kevin: Palo Pinto Lake is at 20%... I wonder if they are going to cut off Ag users.

Bart: Let's hold off and see if we get any rain in June.